NOTE: The doctrinal viewpoint expressed in these Bible studies is the author, Caleb a.k.a. Aaron Tan's personal view. They may not align in all aspects with the orthodoxy of the places of worship (if named or referenced) where these bible study(s) may have been presented.
Have you tried cycling in monsoon weather? When the wind blows in your direction, it carries you and there’s not much effort required of you even when you cycle uphill. But when the wind is against you, it will be an entirely different story.
I remember one incident when I was cycling on a levelled road, and a very strong wind blew against me. My bicycle literally stopped. I ended up pushing the bicycle on foot. I could have learned the lesson quicker because I struggled to cycle against the wind for the first few minutes. It was exhausting. That experience taught me something in my spiritual journey with the Holy Spirit.
At times in the faith journey, God may not speak out loud but simply nudge our senses. There could be times when the voice of God would come in dreams or visions. But most of the time, the Holy Spirit leads by dropping hints to our consciousness. What should our response be under those circumstances?
In life, it’s crucial to know when to fight the current and the time to flow with the river. #Caleb A. Tan
Once upon a time, there was a man named Joseph, who was about to marry a fine young virgin named Mary. Just before the marriage drew near, she was found pregnant. The man was shaken, upset and disoriented because who would do such a thing to his future wife. To make things worse, how could she betray him!
Being a fine gentleman, he decided to quietly call off the wedding so as not to put the girl in danger or to face legal consequences. That would mean, she could be stoned to death. Just as all negative emotions and thoughts bombarded him. His conscience told him to do the right thing. Called off the wedding but kept the issue hush-hush. One troubling night, an angel of the Lord appeared in his dream and instructed him to keep the marriage going. In that dream, the angel of the Lord disclosed a very clear word of the future. It was so convicting and when Joseph woke up, he knew right away the right thing to do. He didn’t fight against the dream. He didn’t disobey the angel of the Lord. He flowed with it like a fluid moving from one position to another. A sense of peace and comfort dawned on him because he went with the flow.
What does flow mean?
To move as a fluid from one position to another.
There are many occasions when things didn’t seem to go in your direction. It is like the monsoon wind which blew against me. It was like Joseph battled with those negative thoughts and emotions. Don’t fight it. Flow with it. Surrender what you cannot control and submit it to the Lord. He has all things in his hands. He is the Lord and all things are under his reign.
It is a natural instinct for us to want to take charge and to put circumstances under control. By doing so, we may be fighting against something bigger. It could be the force of nature or demonic powers that we are going against. What if it was God’s will that comes in the form of the ‘monsoon wind’? Has this happened in the past? Absolutely yes! Do you remember the false prophet, Balaam?
He went against the will of God even though God gently instructed him to surrender. He refused to obey. On one occasion, God has to activate a donkey to rebuke him to save him from being struck by a divine sword from a warring angel. Balaam beat up the donkey until his eyes were opened, and for once he realised that the warring angel was about to kill him! Balaam fought against the will of God instead of going with the flow.
Here are 3 attitudes to cultivate which could enhance our ability to flow with God’s will and the leading of the Holy Spirit.
#1) Humility. Humility is never a weakness. Rather, strength or power under proper control. When Joseph woke up from the encounter with the angel of the Lord, he could easily ignore the dream just like most people do. But he chose to surrender his will, plan and accept the divine instructions. He demonstrated humility. He allowed God’s will to guide him through the difficult times. When you apply humility, you are also making a statement that the Lord Jesus is indeed your Lord and master.
#2) Submissiveness. Although Mary and Joseph didn’t quite understand the logic behind the conception which is happening. The impossibility of that cannot be explained by science. Nevertheless, they chose to submit their will, thoughts, feelings and beliefs to God. They learned to flow by faith, allowing their trust in the Lord to guide them through the 9 months. That’s not an easy thing to do. Humanly speaking, when we don’t understand something, we tend to fight and stop cooperating. That’s the complete opposite of submission. Turns out that their humility and decision to submit to the leading of God paid off!
#3) Faithfulness. Too often when we don’t understand a big picture scenario, or when we don’t initiate a ‘project’ or challenge, we tend to give up halfway into the journey. It is easy to walk away. Logically speaking, they have the full right to abort the baby from a modern day point-of-view. But not Joseph and Mary. They honoured the Lord from day one until the child was born. They applied loyalty and faithfulness towards the Lord and the God-given assignment. There were many obstacles and inconveniences they needed to work through. Putting aside that, the risk of facing legal charges, being accused of idolatry or heresy. It is not an easy 9-month season for a young couple to manage. But their attitudes were in the right place. As a result, the Lord honoured them with generational blessings!
There were many occasions in my journey with the Lord where I was nudged to go with the flow, trusting the Lord by faith. As a result, various forms of blessings dropped on my lap. God will never fail those who obey, submit and go with the flow when prompted. I was blessed in monetary ways, having favour with authority, physical healing and gradual health improvement etc.
I strongly encourage you to go with the flow when the Holy Spirit prompts you to follow his lead. And apply faithfulness throughout the journey, no matter how long that season. God will never fail you. May the Lord be with you!